Nixon’s ca­reer in tat­ters as board hands down two- year sus­pen­sion

Townsville Bulletin - - The Form -

THE ca­reer of dis­graced AFL player agent Ricky Nixon is in ru­ins fol­low­ing the sus­pen­sion of his right to act on be­half of foot­ballers and man­age their af­fairs.

In the first ac­tion of its kind in the his­tory of the Agents’ Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Board, Nixon’s ac­cred­i­ta­tion was sus­pended for two years over his ‘‘ in­ap­pro­pri­ate per­sonal re­la­tion­ship’’ with a 17-year-old girl who had made a se­ries of al­le­ga­tions against play­ers he rep­re­sented.

The girl filmed Nixon in a ho­tel room dressed only in his un­der­pants and claimed the pair were in an on­go­ing sex­ual re­la­tion­ship and had taken drugs to­gether.

The sus­pen­sion came af­ter Mel­bourne QC David Gal­bally m a d e d a m n i n g f i n d i n g s a g a i n s t N i x o n , 4 7 , a f t e r in­ves­ti­gat­ing his re­la­tion­ship with the girl, Kim Duthie.

Gal­bally found Nixon had lied to play­ers he rep­re­sents about his re­la­tion­ship with Duthie, that he lacked in­tegrity and had gen­er­ally failed to meet the re­quire­ments of an ac­cred­ited player agent.

The Board found specif­i­cally that Nixon had:

en­tered into an in­ap­pro­pri­ate per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with a young per­son who had been in con­flict with play­ers for which he acted;

acted in a man­ner con­trary to the in­ter­ests of play­ers for whom he acts and;

mis­rep­re­sented to play­ers for whom he acts the na­ture of the re­la­tion­ship.

As other agents in­evitably start the ma­noeu­ver­ing around Nixon’s star-stud­ded client list, the man at the cen­tre of the un­seemly scan­dal re­mained un­apolo­getic.

Asked whether Nixon had ex­pressed re­morse, Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Board chair­man Ian Pren­der­gast said he had ex­pressed only dis­ap­point­ment. ‘‘ So it’s fair to as­sume there was no apol­ogy made,’’ Pren­der­gast said.

Pren­der­gast also said that a l t h o u g h Ni x o n c o u l d n o longer rep­re­sent play­ers, his com­pany Fly­ing Start and any other ac­cred­ited agents work­ing un­der the same banner were free to con­tinue in busi­ness.

In the un­likely event they would want him to, Nixon can con­tinue to rep­re­sent coaches Rod­ney Eade and Brett Rat­ten.

The af­fair which has rocked the AFL be­gan when Duthie ac­cused St Kilda player Sam Gil­bert of fa­ther­ing twins she falsely claimed to be car­ry­ing.

Duthie later stole nude pho­to­graphs of St Kilda cap­tain Nick Riewoldt and Nick dal Santo and posted them on the in­ter­net, claim­ing she had taken them while in a ho­tel room with the play­ers.

Riewoldt and dal Santo are among 45 play­ers rep­re­sented by Nixon, who was one of the first peo­ple Duthie con­tacted in re­la­tion to the preg­nancy she later ad­mit­ted had been a lie.

Through his lawyers Nixon slammed the de­ci­sion and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

‘‘ Our client is not sur­prised, but is greatly dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion as he be­lieves the Board’s process and in­ves­ti­ga­tion . . . has been com­pletely flawed,’’ a state­ment from the lawyers said.

Nixon’s l awyers said t he Board had failed to ad­dress a num­ber of mat­ters they had put be­fore it and that an ap­peal was be­ing con­sid­ered.

In a se­ries of Tweets posted fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion, Duthie wrote: ‘‘ You lose Ricky’’ and ‘‘ 2 years. Not good enough. Life is more ap­pro­pri­ate.’’

She also said a Vic­to­ria po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing into Nixon. AFL chief ex­ec­u­tive Andrew Demetriou ac­cepted the board’s find­ing.

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